Apple Pay Coming Soon to Crate & Barrel, Chick-fil-A and Au Bon Pain

Apple Pay is now available at more than 2 million retail locations, with merchants such as Crate & Barrel, Chick-fil-A and Au Bon Pain set to accept the system in stores imminently, reports The Business Times.

Online clothing retailer Zappos.com also added Apple Pay to its iPhone and iPad apps on Tuesday, following a number of requests from customers to use the feature.

The announcement by Apple comes alongside news that the mobile payment service exceeded the company’s goal to make it available at 1.5 million locations by the end of 2015. In-app purchases using the service also more than doubled in the last six months of 2015 compared with the first half, says the company.

Despite the upbeat announcement, Apple still has work to convince U.S. customers to use Apple Pay at retail stores. According to a survey by consumer researcher Pymnts and InfoScout, 16.6 percent of people who own newer iPhones tried Apple Pay in October, an increase from 9 percent in November 2014.

Apple Pay is set to expand to China early this year, making it the fifth country to adopt the payments service since its U.S. launch in October 2014. The service expanded to the United Kingdom in July 2015, followed by Australia and Canada last November in partnership with American Express. Hong Kong, Singapore and Spain are also expected to gain support later this year.

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London Mayor Boris Johnson Asked Apple to Help Build Garden Bridge

London Mayor Boris Johnson tried to convince Apple to fund the UK capital’s project to build a „Garden Bridge“ across the River Thames, as reported by Business Insider.

The report cites an article published today in The Architects’ Journal which details how Johnson secretly travelled to California in early 2013 to meet Apple executives and pitch the ambitious project, before he had received official backing for the scheme from his office.

Proposed design for Garden Bridge over the River Thames (Image: Arup)

Apple is well known for its intense interest in architectural design and its close attention to detail when planning and building its retail stores. However, it has little history of funding projects unrelated to its technology business, making Johnson’s attempts to woo the company seem ill-judged.

In a statement given to The Architect’s Journal, the London Mayor’s office confirmed a meeting indeed took place with Apple to discuss „investment opportunities in London.“ However, Apple informed the publication that the company has „no involvement in this bridge project and is not considering getting involved.“

Tag: United Kingdom
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‘AlwaysOnline Wireless’ Debuts New Short-Term Cellular Data Plans for Apple SIM

Otono Networks today announced the launch of AlwaysOnline Wireless, a global LTE roaming network exclusively for iPads with Apple SIM. The roaming network will be available in 45 countries, but will expand to additional countries in the future.

AlwaysOnline will offer LTE data plans starting from $0.99 an hour for 15 MB, and users can pay by hour, data or megabyte. Otono CEO Emir Aboulhosn says that the company wants to offer short-term data plans for times customers „really need connectivity on-the-go“ like if they need to „catch up on email in the car“ or „get directions to their next meeting.“

AlwaysOnline’s roaming network is available in countries like Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Japan, Saudi Arabia and more. However, the network’s plans aren’t available to the residents of the majority of the countries listed. The full list can be seen on AlwaysOnline’s website.

Last year, Apple introduced the Apple SIM with cellular models of the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 sold in the United States and United Kingdom. The Apple SIM allows users to easily move between networks, taking advantage of short-term data deals when needed. More recently, the cellular models of the iPad mini 4 and iPad Pro have included Apple SIM support. The Apple SIM can now be purchased in 13 countries.

Earlier this year, Apple agreed to a deal with mobile connectivity company GigSky to bring Apple SIM cellular data plans to over 90 countries. While GigSky offers short-term data deals in more countries than AlwaysOnline, the latter offers even shorter-term data deals, enabling users to purchase hour and day-long plans.

Tags: Apple SIM, AlwaysOnline Wireless
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British Airways app takes off on Apple Watch

Apple’s refusal to release any hard and fast Apple Watch figures (it has most likely sold in the region of 7 million) has led some people to dismiss it as a failure, despite the companies saying otherwise. Now British Airways has thrown out its own stats — noting that its Apple Watch app saw usage […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Apple Pay Now Supports Tesco Bank and TSB in U.K., Over 90 New U.S. Issuers

Apple updated its Apple Pay participating issuers list today with 95 additional banks, credit unions and financial institutions supporting the contactless payment service in the United States. Apple Pay now has over 750 participating issuers nationwide, and several more plan to support the NFC-based mobile payment service in the future.

Apple Pay now supports Tesco Bank and TSB in the United Kingdom

Apple also added Apple Pay support for two larger financial institutions Tesco Bank and TSB in the United Kingdom. Tesco Bank, which began emailing customers about incoming Apple Pay support earlier this week, currently supports Apple Pay for its MasterCard credit cards, while TSB supports debit cards and MasterCard and AMEX credit cards.

H&R Block, a large tax planning, preparation, and filing company, highlights the complete list of Apple Pay participating U.S. issuers. As a disclaimer, it should be noted that some smaller banks, credit unions and financial institutions listed may have already had support for the contactless payments service and are only now being reflected on Apple’s website.

The full list of new Apple Pay participating issuers in the U.S. is ahead.Acme Federal Credit Union

Alpine Bank

Alpine Credit Union

Altier Credit Union

American 1 Credit Union

American Trust and Savings Bank

Ashland Credit Union

Augusta Metro Federal Credit Union

Avidia Bank

Bank Independent

Bank of New Hampshire

Bay Area Credit Union

Broadway National Bank

Calumet Bank

Camden National Bank

CapCom Credit Union

Century Bank & Trust

Citizens Bank of Edmond

Citizens Bank of Washington County

CoastHills Credit Union

Commercial Banking Company

Community Bank NA

Decatur Earthmover Credit Union

EverBank

F&M Bank

Farmers State Bank

First Atlantic Federal Credit Union

First Citizens Bank

First Command Bank

First Commerce Credit Union

First Florida Integrity Bank

First National Bank & Trust Co.

First National Bank of Oklahoma

First Priority Bank

Florida Credit Union

Great Lakes Credit Union

H&R Block

Hawaii State Federal Credit Union

Heartland Bank & Trust Company

Homeland Credit Union

Idaho Independent Bank

International Finance Bank

Iroquois Federal

Johnson City Bank

Kane County Teachers Credit Union

Kekaha Federal Credit Union

Kinetic Credit Union

Klerberg Bank

Lake City Bank

LaTerre Federal Credit Union

Leyden Credit Union

Marblehead Bank

Marshall Community Credit Union

MECU

Members First Community Credit Union

Members First Credit Union of New Hampshire

Metro Employees Credit Union

MidSouth Bank NA

Montgomery Bank NA

MountainOne Bank

NB&T

Nebo Credit Union

Neighbors Federal Credit Union

NewDominion Bank

Northeast Credit Union

Northwest Federal Credit Union

Oak Valley Community

OAS Staff Federal Credit Union

Oklahoma Central Credit Union

Oklahoma Employees Credit Union

OnPoint Community Credit Union

OUR Credit Union

PCM Credit Union

Peoples Bank (AR)

Peoples State Bank

Railroad & Industrial Federal Credit Union

RIA Federal Credit Union

River Works Credit Union

Rocky Mountain Credit Union

Sb1 Federal Credit Union

Seacoast Bank

SECNY Federal Credit Union

Service 1st Federal Credit Union

Sikorsky Credit Union

Southbridge Savings Bank

Southwest 66 Credit Union

State Bank of Southern Utah

SunWest Educational Credit Union

Texas Bay Credit Union

Tinker Federal Credit Union

Tonawanda Valley Federal Credit Union

TransWest Credit Union

Winslow Community Federal Credit Union

Woodlands Bank

Zeal Credit Union

Apple Pay launched in Canada today for American Express customers, with Australia to follow later this week. Apple is also partnering with American Express to bring Apple Pay to Spain, Singapore and Hong Kong next year.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tags: United Kingdom, Tesco Bank, TSB
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iPad Pro Diary: The iOS ecosystem is much deeper than I knew

iPad Pro Diary, Day 2: I have a shameful confession to make. Even though I’ve been using an iPad and iPhone for years, I haven’t really been using them. I do a few things that haven’t changed for donkeys. I read on the iPad all the time and send the odd email. I play songs […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Prepare yourself — iPad Pro goes on sale tonight

The wait is almost over for the biggest tablet Apple has ever made: Pre-orders for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro go live sometime tonight. We don’t expect iPhone-level day-one sales for the massive new hardware, but if you’ve been champing at the bit to pick up the new shiny thing, here’s how you can get it. […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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BBC iPlayer and Siri for Apple Music Coming to New Apple TV in Months Ahead

Just over a week after developers pressed BBC to bring iPlayer to Apple TV by building their own proof-of-concept app, the British public broadcaster has now confirmed on Twitter and its website that it will be launching the streaming service for the new Apple TV in the „coming months.“

„Available on over 10,000 devices, BBC iPlayer is one of the biggest and best on-demand video services in the world, and has transformed how UK audiences watch programmes online,“ said the BBC’s director-general Tony Hall.

„I am delighted that iPlayer will be coming to the new Apple TV in the coming months, helping to bring the BBC’s distinctive and loved content to an even wider audience.“

Auntie Player proof-of-concept iPlayer app for the new Apple TV

BBC iPlayer is an on-demand video service that allows viewers to catch up on TV show episodes and other content airing on the popular British channel. The app was not available on previous Apple TV boxes, except over AirPlay using an iPhone or iPad, despite versions existing for Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and other streaming devices.

BBC has reversed course since the new Apple TV was announced in September, at which time it announced on Twitter it had „no plans currently“ to develop an iPlayer app for the latest set-top box. iPlayer had more than 220 million TV requests in August from users on other devices, the BBC says, so a native tvOS app will be a welcomed arrival for many viewers in the United Kingdom and abroad.

Apple also confirmed to BuzzFeed News that Siri is coming to Apple Music on the new Apple TV at the beginning of next year. This functionality will allow Apple TV users to say commands such as „play the top songs from Taylor Swift’s 1989 album“ or „play more like this“ to control Apple Music on the big screen.

The new Apple TV launches October 30, coinciding with the first deliveries to customers.

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